SISP awards announced, SMART Girls
program garners continuing support

December 24, 2014
Santa Paula News

Soroptimist International of Santa Paula recently awarded a grant and scholarship respectively to an area woman and teenager.

The funds, according to SISP President Heidi Juarez, are awarded annually.

The Women’s Opportunity Award is granted to a head of household woman who is seeking additional education to re-enter the workplace or to improve their present job skills.

The Violet Richardson Award is given to a 14- to 17-year-old young woman who is a committed volunteer; the recipient receives a cash stipend and an organization supported by the award winner is given a larger donation.

The scholarship is traditionally awarded to a Santa Paula High School student. 

Yajaira Valencia, Juarez told those attending the December 6 “Tea Party” Holiday Fashion Show, was the recipient of the 2014 Violet Richardson Award.

Juarez noted community members are always encouraged to nominate candidates for the Violet Richardson Award.

Cathy Tran, Juarez added, received the 2014 Women’s Opportunity Award. 

“Soroptimist International of Santa Paula is also very pleased to be able to help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley with the SMART Girls program,” which helps girls develop healthy attitudes and lifestyles. 

SMART Girls is designed for two age-group levels, 8 to 12 and 13 to 17, according to their physiological, mental and emotional needs.  In addition, the program is intended to help girls make positive decisions at this critical stage in their development.

SMART Girls takes the skills, mastery and resistance training concept even further by providing gender- and age-specific information to help young women develop the necessary skills to have a long and healthy life. 

The program also promotes bettering relationships between young women and the older significant females in their lives to foster self-esteem and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

The Community Center was filled to capacity for the Holiday Fashion Show, which the 13-member SISP considers one of its two largest annual fundraisers. 

Juarez told the crowd, “I personally invite you to join us as we continue to improve the lives of local women and girls, and ask any of the members about the rewarding experience of being a Soroptimist!”

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